Kelowna council is picking up Recycle BC’s offer to take over direct curbside service in the city.
Last month councillors requested more information about the plan, after some voiced concern over a lack of details. City and Recycle BC staff have since provided additional information, and a report to council confirmed that “having Recycle BC perform the collection and quality assurance will provide best value, and lowest financial risk for residents.”
“We would likely have glass added to the curbside collection,” added Scott Hoekstra, landfill and composting operations manager. “If Recycle BC takes this on they own all of the ancillary works such as education and enforcement of contamination levels.”
Coun. Charlie Hodge was insistent that glass collection be part of a new agreement.
“I will support this, Mr. Mayor, but I really am serious about watching the glass, and if we don’t get glass Mr. Mayor, I will be making a stink.”
Coun. Brad Seiben raised concerns that Recycle BC might move to boxes for collection, ditching blue-lidded bins.
“If we take a step to go to a box system I don’t believe our citizens will appreciate that,” said Seiben. “I think they’ll look at it as a step back.”
Recycle BC has indicated it will consider feedback regarding how it structures its collection system, but that it will make the final decision. The city has a multi-year service agreement with Recycle BC, coordinated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) for regional consistency. Recycle BC has asked for a decision on whether the RDCO and member municipalities want to continue the arrangement or hand it over to them.
They are prepared to extend the current agreement and fund collection until April 30, 2026, when a new agreement would take over.
The proposed plan caused debate in other RDCO municipalities, with the City of West Kelowna and the District of Lake Country also requesting more information before making a decision. Recycle BC has asked for a decision by July 1.
Kelowna council voted in favour of the takeover of direct collection, and also sending a letter urging a multi-container system be used over boxes.